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updated: 2/10/2012 4:48 PM

Steven Hunter: Candidate Profile

25th District Senate (Democrat)

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  • Steven Hunter, running for 25th District Senate

      Steven Hunter, running for 25th District Senate

 

 

 

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Geneva

Website: electstevenhunter.com

Office sought: 25th District Senate

Age: 41

Family: Married, two children

Occupation: AT&T Network Operations

Education: Military and Coperate Training

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: Democratic Precinct Committeeman Geneva 15 IBEW Local 21 Union Steward North Central Illinois Labor Council Board Member

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Improving communications is a way to defeat the deficit. Expanding the states broadband system and intranet is very important in opening up communications. According to 42nd District State Sen. Linda Holmes, in February, the Auditor General's office released a report on the state's outdated and inefficient accounting systems. The report found that state agencies were using 163 different financial reporting systems to track funds and more than half of the systems did not have the capability to share that information with each other. In addition, only 16 percent of the systems were compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and some were almost 30 years old. This makes it very difficult to track spending. It is imperative that we integrate the system to better track income and expenditures to clearly determine our true budget needs.

Key Issue 2

Infrastructure improvement will play a key role in creating jobs and increasing efficiency of small businesses. Improving railroads, bridges, highways and the other failing infrastructures in this state will help to increase business productivity. Better transportation will make for better business.

Key Issue 3

I am a firm believer in Article 10 of the State Constitution. Coming up with new funds or revenue streams will be exceedingly difficult when we are currently operating under a budget deficit. I would prefer to see the pension funds and 529 college savings plans invested in municipal bond type programs that would allow school districts or local governments to refinance high interest construction bonds. This would provide a guaranteed source of fixed rate income to the pension funds while reducing the debt load for local municipalities or school boards. While Illinois does not have the extra funds to help repay the school's bonds, we can help reduce their interest debt which will free up capital to be used for financing the system of public education.

Questions & Answers

What can you do specifically to help the economy in your district? What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears? For incumbents, how did you vote on the Sears plan in this fall's veto session?

Specifically in my district I would like to see the Metra line pushed out form Elburn to DeKalb. The purpose of this is to provide an innovative triangle including the students and research professors at Northern Illinois University, Fermilab, and DuPage National Technology Park. This will help develop the currently stagnant and under utilized Technology Park.

Providing tax incentives to large companies like Motorola and Navistar must be done on a case by case basis. Our leadership has done an excellent job of negotiating deals that have attracted businesses and jobs to the State of Illinois, thus providing us with new streams of much needed tax revenue that wouldn't have existed otherwise.

Do you favor limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during a general election? If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus' Why or why not?

As long as the corporations, PAC's and super PAC's have no real contribution limits the state party leaders should not be limited on what they can contribute. I don't see any real effective way to limit contributions uniformly. We have a two party system and the parties should maintain the right to help elect the candidates they see fit.

Yes, I would vote for Senator Cullerton, he exemplifies what a good leader should be. He has earned respect by setting an example of unmatched dedication to the State of Illinois.

How, specifically, would you cut the budget? What does Illinois need to do to fix its status as a "deadbeat state?" How have you or will you vote on future gambling bills' What is your view of slots at racetracks' Casino expansion?

We need to put a moratorium on any new spending and divert all possible new revenue sources such as gambling expansion towards paying our existing bills. I support a Chicago casino. It would provide jobs and increase the states tax revenue. I am open to debate on the possibility of slot machines at the airports and race tracks.

What do you specifically support to deal with the state's pension gap? Would you vote for House Republican Leader Tom Cross's three-tier pension plan? Why or why not?

The pension shortfall took years to get where it is. The bill is not due for immediate repayment. It will require a long term repayment plan. Part of the reason for the shortfall is grossly overestimated expected rate of return on investments, some of which even lost money. I would prefer to see the pension funds invested in a fixed rate of return that can be properly budgeted. I would like to see Illinois funds reinvested in Illinois to promote growth within our state. I hesitate to back a bill that appears to be a pay cut for state employees as punishment for the mismanagement of the pension funds by the General Assembly.

Should gay marriage be legalized? Should Illinois define life as beginning at conception as others have? How would you vote on a concealed carry firearm plan? Should the death penalty be reinstated?

I stand for equal protection under the law. That includes GLBT individuals and couples. As a Veteran of the U.S. Navy it is my obligation to support and defend the U.S. Constitution which includes the United States Supreme Court ruling Roe vs. Wade. B. C. I believe the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms that applies to all Americans. I would consider state legislation requiring the issuance of a concealed carry permit for self defense for law-abiding citizens who have completed federal and state background checks and have completed a firearm safety course. I do not have confidence in the state's ability to properly administer the death penalty at this time.

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